1

Examples:

  1. I didn't know if I was going to work next week.
  2. I didn't know if I was to work next week.
  3. I didn't know If I were to work next week.

I think number 1 is correct, but I would like to know whether is any difference between them. Regarding number 3, I don't think is correct. Can you provide more examples?

Thank you!

1
  • 1
    One additional problem is masked by the orthography. Going to work has two meanings, with different pronunciations, both spelled this way. One way is simply the future contraction gonna /'gənə/, meaning will, and the other is /'goɪŋtə/, which actually refers to travel to a workplace, rather than the work that is done. Either could be meant by (1), and (2) is also correct; but (3) is right out, since the "i were" construction is not governed by hypotheticals like if, but by counterfactual predicates like wish. Aug 8 '15 at 16:00
2

1 and 2 have very similar meanings. To my ears, though, 1 is more matter-of-fact and focused on what the speaker intended to do, while 2 is more focused on what the speaker was supposed to do.

3 is not correct. The past subjunctive here serves no purpose.

1

The third sentence is certainly the worst of the three, but I don't like any of them. Here are some suggested alternatives:

I didn't know if I was going to work next week.

Better: I didn't know if I would be working next week. This comes from putting the following sentence into the past: I don't know if I will be working next week.

I didn't know if I was to work next week.

Better: I didn't know if I was supposed to work next week.

I didn't know If I were to work next week.

You can use the subjunctive if you rewrite this, for example I didn't know if she were expected to work next week. But most people wouldn't use the subjunctive in a situation like this anymore.

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